Starting off week 7 I finished last weeks wall hanging, completing the embroidery which demonstrated the memory inspiration for this particular piece. I would have liked to have fit the final line of the rhyme: “please don’t take my sunshine away”, perhaps it would have changed the sentiment to a more melancholic one. But for anyone who knows the rhyme, I hope that they would finish it themselves.
Then I took both wall hangings that I had completed so far, down into the gallery space where we will be exhibiting in a months time. (Its crazy how fast this project has gone!) I wanted to see how they sat within the space and whether the scale was working.
I decided to create a larger work to try in the space, both pieces so far have worked well on their own, but I can’t decide whether they should be so separate within the space, or joined together on the wall to create the effect of an even larger quilt. So I sourced some new materials from the college department and also charity shops that I like the texture and nostalgia of – I chose a carpet as I thought the woven texture and its original domestic purpose would help lift interesting memories. I also again added a bear and old shirt; later I added some red fabric my mother had given me previously, to diversify the colour palette, but also add more of a personal element.
I cut up and sewed my biggest quilt yet, breaking two sewing needles in the process! And then I took it down in to the gallery space first, before starting to paint it, to see if I was happy with its scale.
Happy with the size I have started the base painting, not initially inspired by a memory but playing with colour and painting technique, whilst listening to music and looking at photos to hopefully encourage a specific memory to come through. I started with some blue tones as I wanted to try from a different colour palette from the other two. I found the carpet more difficult to paint onto than the previous works as it soaks up the water. But I think with more layers it should still be effective. As I worked on this piece I began thinking about the image of a bed again, and how as a child I could hang blankets down from the top bunk to make my own hideaway from the world. There is something very intimate and honest about these spaces, where you can play make believe and dream up stories of who you are or will be.
So I divided the composition in two, the red bottom half suggestive of the mattress or duvet, the bed itself. The top half I want to become that intimate space of a child’s bed or bedroom, hidden to the adult experience, becoming hazy overtime. I am not sure yet what appearance this will take but I am pulled to the sense of a night sky perhaps, with blue tones and embroidery – but this could all change next week. Right now it is at the infancy of its formations, I am curious to see where this memory will lead me.